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Moto Guzzi posted by

Alternate Italian: 1997 Moto Guzzi Daytona RS

If asked to picture a red, Italian vee twin sportbike, the majority of the world would come up with a single marque: Ducati. But in truth the Italians have been rather prolific with their sporty scoots across dozens of manufacturers, even though some brands may not be household names here in the United States. And some, while once well known, have fallen to the march of progress and the downfall of insolvency. One of those surviving iconic Italian brands is Moto Guzzi - holding the title of the oldest motorcycle manufacturer in Europe still in continuous production. Now owned by Piaggio but allowed to operate quasi-independently, Moto Guzzi soldiers on with a handful of cruisers and V7 nostalgia bikes. However Guzzi once was known for sport bikes, and none highlight the brand better than today's Daytona RS.

1997 Moto Guzzi Daytona RS for sale on eBay

Based on the very (for Moto Guzzi) successful 1100 Sport model, the RS contained a few extra goodies in the horsepower and handling department. Like many other successful brands, Moto Guzzi marketed the RS as a premium model, selling the extra performance. Unlike the 1100 Sport, the RS featured new 4-valve cylinder heads and a bigger cam to help with higher RPM breathing. Modern EFI provided the fueling. Down below, a new lightened crankshaft was connected to a lighter flywheel, carillo rods and forged (rather than cast) pistons. Moto Guzzis have always been known to be robust motorcycles, and the venerable transverse vee arrangement readily accepted these updates without complaint. On the chassis side, the RS received uprated WP dampers front and rear along with 17" rubber front and rear. Tipping the scales at the same rate as the 1100 Sport (approx 488 lbs), the RS offered 12 HP and nearly 1,000 RPM more motive power along with handling refinements and a 240 KM/h top speed.

From the seller:
Daytona RS, very rare, only 34 to North America. I have had the bike for ~3 yrs in southern Arizona. Runs very strong, great looking with everything working. Mileage ~9000 as I continue to ride it on occasions. New cam belts, forks rebuilt, valves checked, tires good (Pirelli angel gt). Aftermarket exhaust, handlebars and Creedon chip.

From a performance standpoint, the big Guzzis were largely outclassed by Japanese precision. From a local perspective, Moto Guzzi found itself losing ground to the group from Bologna - to the point where Ducati dominated the Italian vee twin sporting scene. Ultimately grouped into the Battle of the Twins class against Beemers and Harleys, Moto Guzzi never quite made the transition to the modern sportbike era. But to damn the brand because it refused to enter the hyperactive world of "win on Sunday, sell on Monday" would be missing the point of this Dayton beast. With long legs, great sounds and fantastic looks, this Daytona RS is timeless and offers so much more than a fleeting performance benchmark. This is a classic steed that performs well enough to hold its head up high while enveloping the rider in a cloak of quality and mystique. This is a bike that riders look at knowingly and longingly; this is ultimate cool, personified.

This particular Daytona RS looks to be in pretty good shape. There is some wear evident in the rash on the triple clamps - it is minor and does not affect functionality, but somehow marks in this area always aggrivate me - and some slight damage to the left side rear tail section. Otherwise this appears to be an honest bike, and presents well. The mileage is sub 9,000, and from the seller's text maintenance and care was performed as one would expect. There are some extras in the form of upgraded Termi exhaust as well as a tuner chip controlling the EFI, enhancing power delivery as well as rideability. These RS models are rare and in demand in the small circle of Guzzi fans, so this one may not last long. The opening bid started out at a rock-bottom $1,000 (with reserve), and the BIN is a reasonable $11,500. Check it out here, and revel in the artistry of Italian chic. Good Luck!!

MI

5 Comments

  • Ride it once and you might not like it.
    Ride it hard and you’ll never sell it.
    A true classic sport bike designed for long sweeping curves. To my eyes a classic design from Guzzi. This would look great next to my 94 Ducati 900 SS. And I’d be in the garage all the time because if i bid on this the wife will no doubt re-locate me there with the few non-motorcycle possessions i still have!

  • Do it!

  • The chassis and bodywork come from the 1100 sport, but the motor is an upgraded version of the Daytona 1000. the cams are actually in the heads. iHi-cam Guzzi’s sound like nothing else and the RS is the last/best of the breed.

    • I love the way they sound for sure, and the RS has a spot in my Dream Bike Garage. And yeah, the four-valve cam-in-head design used by Guzzi is pretty interesting. The RS is supposed to have a very annoying flat spot at 5,000 rpm but I’m sure I could live with that or find a way to fix it. I’d get one then start lurking around eBay, looking for the CORRECT fairing with the trapezoidal headlight…

  • The flat spot is an easy fix with a new chip ( this one has it) The Euro fairing is tougher because you also need the fairing sub-frame and headlight.

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